Researchers Create Program That May Aid Doctors in Diagnosing Concussions in Chicago and Nationwide

Following the tragic suicide of a number of famous former professional football players, traumatic brain injuries have been increasingly making headlines in Chicago and elsewhere. As many as 3.8 million brain injuries are reportedly caused by playing sports every year across the United States. In addition, an estimated 300,000 victims are young athletes who are not playing the sport in a professional capacity.

A head injury may cause short or long-term loss of memory, headaches, loss of brain function, depression, and other symptoms. Too often, the symptoms associated with a traumatic brain injury are not easy to recognize. In response, a team of researchers from the Notre Dame University’s Computer Science and Engineering Department have reportedly developed a new technology designed to aid doctors in determining whether an injured athlete or other individual has sustained a concussion. The program is allegedly capable of analyzing speech patterns to determine in real time whether the speaker likely sustained a head injury. It is also designed to be used on a small, easy to transport computer tablet or smartphone so results can be obtained anywhere.

According to one of the technology’s creators, Professor Christian Poellabauer, nearly 90 percent of concussions go undiagnosed. He stated the portable technology has the ability to transform health care and may potentially reduce the overall impact of head injuries. Although the program may make the diagnosis of concussions easier in the future, the new technology is now being tested further with the assistance of James Moriarity, Notre Dame’s Chief Sports Medicine Physician.

Many high school athletes in Illinois and elsewhere suffer dangerous head injuries every year. Since 2011, all school boards in our state are required to adopt a concussion policy that complies with Illinois High School Association (IHSA) guidelines. In addition, the IHSA must provide all Illinois school districts with educational materials regarding the risks associated with concussions and other head injuries in children. Each school board’s current head injury policy must be provided in writing to student athletes prior to any participation in a school sporting event. This notice must also be signed by both parents and the athlete.

Sadly, a seemingly mild concussion may cause devastating and lifelong injuries for your son or daughter. Traumatic brain injuries in children are often caused by unexpected accidents as well as participation in sporting events. The victim of a brain injury may be eligible to receive compensation for any resulting disability, their medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages. If your minor child suffered a preventable concussion or other head injury, you are advised to discuss your rights with a quality personal injury lawyer.

If your child was the victim of an unexpected head or other injury, you should call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 924-7575. Our caring Chicago child injury attorneys are available 24 hours per day to help you file your case. For a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.

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Woman Killed After PACE Bus Driver Loses Control in South Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2013
Additional Resources:

Notre Dame researchers scoring a win-win with novel set of concussion diagnostic tools, by William G. Gilroy,


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